Brands and consumers – we’re simply on a different page when it comes to social media. In Social Sucks, we made the case that we may be fishing in the wrong pond, as marketers. From the white paper:
A study published in Q1 2012 identified the ability to engage consumers online as the #1 digital-related challenge facing marketers today….[but]…Almost 65% of people say they “hate” when a company targets them through social media and nearly 60% labeled social media marketing as invasive.
There is a clear disconnect between how consumers actually use social media and how brands view them as prime sales channels, simply because there are a bunch of people on Facebook and Twitter. The aforementioned article further cements this issue, noting that over 41% of SMBs view Facebook as a business acquisition tool, but only 2% of adult Internet users would head to social media to search for a business (lawyers, in this specific case).
“We signed up [to social media] to connect with each other, not with commerce“, notes Jay Baer. In our research for Social Sucks, we found studies that reported less than 5% of us desire brand offers via Facebook or Twitter and approximately 60% of users claim they don’t mention brands on social networks at all.
Does this mean that we should just give up consumer engagement plans on social media? Certainly not. We’re all trying to connect the digital dots between social and sales, and we should keep walking that path aggressively. This is more about getting our expectations in order so we can align our goals with consumer expectations and needs.